Study now, pay later: Alternative funding for varsity launched

An alternative funding programme for university students has been launched in the country to assist students who cannot afford higher education fees to study and pay back when they get employment.

The Income Share Agreement (ISA) which will be run by Chancen International, a non-profit organization providing education financing for young people in Africa, aims at complementing other funding sources for higher education in Kenya.

It targets to draw 70 per cent of its beneficiaries from low income households and 65 per cent of them coming from rural areas. The co-founder and chief executive officer of Chancen, Batya Blankers said $17 million has been committed to the programme and they are working towards a $40 million target to finance thousands of excluded African youth.

“We want to amalgamate the current education financing sources that include Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), donor scholarships, and many others, by providing funding to bridge the current education gap,” Ms Blankers said during the launch held in Nairobi.

The event was also attended by representatives from the Ministry of Education, Generation Kenya, Moringa, Next Step Foundation and USAID among others.

“An Income Share Agreement is at its core a model of uncollateralised lending to students using group risk sharing, and the future potential income of young people instead of their current economic situation. It is like investing equity in an individual, if they do well following their studies the whole community benefits,” said Ms Blankers.

The chairperson of Chancen International Maurice Nduranu said that the Income Share Agreement will increase access to quality education that leads to employability for excluded youth.

Chancen is the biggest provider of ISA’s in the East African Region. It has financed over 3,000 students in Rwanda and South Africa. The ISA model has been in use in Germany for 25 years and was introduced in East Africa less than five ago. According to the CEO, the beneficiaries are making repayments and earning an average of four times the country’s median income

“We are proud and excited we are launching in Kenya today. We can finally make a contribution to the education, livelihoods and financial inclusion landscape. We can play a role in ensuring young people from low income households in Kenya can increase their lifetime income,” said Ms Blankers.

Chancen prides itself on providing “a fair, ethical financial product” in financing students to access higher education.


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